Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Downtime in Montezuma, Costa Rica

I relax in the hammock, the sound of gently crashing waves reverberating in the near distance. I muster up the energy to raise my head and see a girl in her twenties relaxing on a rock and gazing out to sea. My head gently returns to its natural resting position. This is Montezuma, Costa Rica, in a nutshell.

Laid back? San Diego has this reputation, but Montezuma makes America’s Finest City look like Manhattan on steroids. You know the place you daydream of escaping to on one of those hectic days at the office? This is it. Turn off your cell phone, unplug your laptop. Things move to a different rhythm here. Surf or hike the endless miles of pristine, largely uninhabited beach. Explore the tide pools in the natural beach reserve. Go whitewater rafting. Play the guitar. Write that novel that’s been lingering in your soul. Create art. Make love. Listen to the pounding surf. Do absolutely nothing. Feel the stress ooze from the pores of your skin. Pressures? Worries? They drift away with the breeze and the surf in Montezuma.

Montezuma, Costa Rica, on the southern Pacific tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, was a tiny fishing village – an isolated, nearly uninhabited paradise – until the 1980s, when it was “discovered” by international travelers. It quickly gained popularity with artists, bohemians, hippies, surfers and dropouts who flocked here to get away from it all. Despite this influx, Montezuma has retained its village atmosphere. Italian immigrants opened several pizzerias and perhaps the best restaurant in town, The Playa des les Artistes, decorated with a plethora of local artworks at its magnificent beachside location.

I first heard about Montezuma on the PBS series Globe Trekker. Particularly memorable was the interview with the guy who lived off the land, boasting that for one year he only spent money on tomatoes and postage home. He said he watched the monkeys and ate what they ate. I knew I had to go there.

Each morning in Montezuma, I wandered along the beach from my hotel to the dusty main road five minutes away and our café overlooking the beach. We took our good sweet time lingering over breakfast and other meals. The capuchin monkeys are everywhere and entertaining to watch. At certain eating spots, they’re brazen enough to steal your food if you leave it unattended for a few minutes.

Interbus (interbusonline.com) provides hotel-to-hotel service via shuttle van between towns in Costa Rica at a reasonable cost. I had smooth service (yet somewhat bumpy rides) between San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde and Montezuma. It’s necessary at one point to board a ferry to get to Montezuma. Once you arrive, a tour isn’t really necessary, but if that’s your preference, they are available. The most popular of these is probably the canopy tour by Montezuma Falls, the most popular destination for visitors. Just north of the city, Playa Grande is a popular spot for surfers. My beachside hotel, Amor del Mar, was a splurge, but you can camp out on the beach if you choose. Montezuma has an active nightlife – Chico’s Bar is the favored spot for dancing among locals and visitors.

On my last night in Montezuma, I looked up at the night sky and saw a brilliant moon and an unusual cloud formation. I grabbed my camera and took a picture of what appeared to be a sleeping Albert Einstein, resting his chin on the moon. Goodbye, Montezuma. You’ll remain in my dreams.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Vista City Attorney and James Buss donate to Trump campaign

Chula Vista's Jill Galvez barred from voting on fire trucks

I relax in the hammock, the sound of gently crashing waves reverberating in the near distance. I muster up the energy to raise my head and see a girl in her twenties relaxing on a rock and gazing out to sea. My head gently returns to its natural resting position. This is Montezuma, Costa Rica, in a nutshell.

Laid back? San Diego has this reputation, but Montezuma makes America’s Finest City look like Manhattan on steroids. You know the place you daydream of escaping to on one of those hectic days at the office? This is it. Turn off your cell phone, unplug your laptop. Things move to a different rhythm here. Surf or hike the endless miles of pristine, largely uninhabited beach. Explore the tide pools in the natural beach reserve. Go whitewater rafting. Play the guitar. Write that novel that’s been lingering in your soul. Create art. Make love. Listen to the pounding surf. Do absolutely nothing. Feel the stress ooze from the pores of your skin. Pressures? Worries? They drift away with the breeze and the surf in Montezuma.

Montezuma, Costa Rica, on the southern Pacific tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, was a tiny fishing village – an isolated, nearly uninhabited paradise – until the 1980s, when it was “discovered” by international travelers. It quickly gained popularity with artists, bohemians, hippies, surfers and dropouts who flocked here to get away from it all. Despite this influx, Montezuma has retained its village atmosphere. Italian immigrants opened several pizzerias and perhaps the best restaurant in town, The Playa des les Artistes, decorated with a plethora of local artworks at its magnificent beachside location.

I first heard about Montezuma on the PBS series Globe Trekker. Particularly memorable was the interview with the guy who lived off the land, boasting that for one year he only spent money on tomatoes and postage home. He said he watched the monkeys and ate what they ate. I knew I had to go there.

Each morning in Montezuma, I wandered along the beach from my hotel to the dusty main road five minutes away and our café overlooking the beach. We took our good sweet time lingering over breakfast and other meals. The capuchin monkeys are everywhere and entertaining to watch. At certain eating spots, they’re brazen enough to steal your food if you leave it unattended for a few minutes.

Interbus (interbusonline.com) provides hotel-to-hotel service via shuttle van between towns in Costa Rica at a reasonable cost. I had smooth service (yet somewhat bumpy rides) between San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde and Montezuma. It’s necessary at one point to board a ferry to get to Montezuma. Once you arrive, a tour isn’t really necessary, but if that’s your preference, they are available. The most popular of these is probably the canopy tour by Montezuma Falls, the most popular destination for visitors. Just north of the city, Playa Grande is a popular spot for surfers. My beachside hotel, Amor del Mar, was a splurge, but you can camp out on the beach if you choose. Montezuma has an active nightlife – Chico’s Bar is the favored spot for dancing among locals and visitors.

On my last night in Montezuma, I looked up at the night sky and saw a brilliant moon and an unusual cloud formation. I grabbed my camera and took a picture of what appeared to be a sleeping Albert Einstein, resting his chin on the moon. Goodbye, Montezuma. You’ll remain in my dreams.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Praga: Italian at a Czech restaurant in Mexico

Not many pedestrians. No mariachis. And definitely no striped zebra-donkeys.
Next Article

How they pry Marines out of downtown Oceanside

Darrius Pope cut hair 10 am to 8 pm in Pendleton barracks
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close